Record entry of 48 LEN Member Federations for Swimming in London
- 22 Federations for Diving events – 20 Federations for Synchronised Swimming
- Deadline for Media Accreditation is April 22
London – The European Aquatics Championships at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London (GBR) are not only one of the biggest sports events this spring but a “dress rehearsal” for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Swimming, Diving and Synchronised Swimming. The continental showcase will take place on May 9-22, in the former venue of the 2012 Olympic Games. Prior to this year’s absolute highlight in August, these Championships will serve as a last test event for part of the European aquatic elite. Compared to the last edition, the 32nd European Championships in Berlin in 2014, only one event is missing from the schedule: the Open Water Swimming Europeans will be held later this year, on July 10-14 in Hoorn (NED).
For the first time since Sheffield/Leeds in 1993, the European Aquatics Championships return to Great Britain. The capital hosted the Europeans only once, back in 1938. The Championships are the biggest event to be held in the London Aquatics Centre since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The iconic venue will open its doors to almost 1,000 athletes in synchronised swimming, diving and swimming.
Swimming: Record participation of 48 Member Federations – host Great Britain at the top
48 LEN Member Federations do not only represent a record-entry in swimming – the first stars already declaring their participation forecast a top class rendezvous featuring 42 events.
The British hosts will of course try to maintain their number one position in Europe. In Berlin in 2014, they clearly dominated the overall medal table in swimming with nine gold, seven silver and eight bronze medals. Altogether they won 27 medals at the Berlin Championships and another one at the 2015 European Diving Championships in Rostock, Germany.
Further international top stars will line up at the start such as 5-time world champion “Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu or the most decorated swimmer in the history of the Europeans, Laszlo Cseh (both of Hungary). Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, who missed the World Championships last year in Kazan, as well as Germany’s World and European champion in the 200m breaststroke, Marco Koch or Franziska Hentke, European short course champion in the 200m butterfly, will most probably participate.
Adlington: “Milestone on the road to Rio”
Rebecca Adlington, double Olympic champion (400m/800m freestyle) in Beijing in 2008 expects that the upcoming Championships will inspire a whole new generation of competitors. “It’s amazing that they’re back here, in London and at this incredible venue,” said Adlington in an interview with British media last month. For her former teammates Adlington expects the event to be a “nice milestone on the road to Rio. Rio is a massive thing, so for them to come here and experience a home crowd that’s going to have all their support, that’ll be great”.
Diving and Synchronised Swimming with the European “powerhouses”
A large number of 22 LEN Member Federations announced their participation in the Diving competitions, among them the European “powerhouses” such as Russia, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and the Ukraine. Medals will be awarded in a total of 13 events, new on the schedule are the Mixed 3m Synchro and Mixed 10m Synchro events. Among the title favourites – provided they will be nominated – are “local heroes” Tom Daley, Jack Laugher, Christopher Mears and Sarah Barrow as well as Italian Tania Cagnotto and Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein, both of Germany.
A total of 20 LEN Member Federations announced their participation in Synchronised Swimming. This competition will be especially interesting. As usual the athletes from Russia, the Ukraine and Spain are among the hot favourites in the respective events. For the first time Mixed Duet will be part of the schedule. And London might see a special highlight with the comeback of 38-year old synchro legend Gemma Mengual: the highly decorated Spaniard, who has set her sights on the Olympics in Rio with duet partner Ona Carbonell, will return to the “European synchro stage” four years after she announced her retirement. Special attention might be devoted to the legendary Russian duet of Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina who might present their brand new routine.
Prize money for the best ones in London
Last but not least: the Federation’s budget for 2016 includes € 1,100,000 in prize money for athletes and accommodation and travel assistance for the participating Federations at the 2016 continental championships, including the Europeans in London. “In the past four years we’ve managed to improve LEN’s financial situation and we now decided to financially assist National Federations and athletes as their performances continuously raise the level of our wonderful events,” LEN President Paolo Barelli said.
NOTES FOR THE MEDIA
- Accreditation: Journalists interested in covering the European Aquatics Championships in London are kindly requested to register online at: http://126.96.36.199/EntryLondon2016/media.aspx. Please note that you will need a passport/ID number and a JPEG image no bigger than 2MB to successfully apply. Deadline for media accreditation is April 22, 2016.
- Should you wish to book accommodation at one of the two official media hotels available please contact email@example.com.
- Everyone who books accommodation at one of the two official media hotels will be given a pre-paid Oyster card in order to travel to and from the London Aquatics Centre during the Championships. You will be able to collect your accreditation from the accreditation centre in London. Further information on this and wider media provision at the Championships will be distributed in due course.
- Contact email address for media requests: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Website: www.euroaquatics2016.london
- Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @Aquatics2016
- Tickets for the 33 sessions of Swimming, Synchronised Swimming and Diving at the European Aquatics Championships on May 9-22 are available at www.euroaquatics2016.london. Three sessions – 19, 31 and 33 – are no longer available to purchase. The best seats for swimming finals remain in just two finals sessions – 21 and 25.